Solutions Blog

Listening is a skill—just ask this international parts distributor

GDT’s Physical Infrastructure professionals asked the right questions, listened, then brought a client’s facility online faster and more efficiently

By Richard Arneson

IT professionals are like new car buyers; both are looking for the latest and greatest solutions and technologies each industry has to offer. However, the infrastructures both traverse are only mentioned when they fail to effectively move data and vehicles. It’s critically important, but all-too-often overlooked.

An international distributor of high-end auto parts discovered the hard way that working with a systems and network integrator not named GDT would result in a “solution” that would not only break their budget, but wouldn’t address issues they didn’t even know existed. Only after being introduced to GDT did they discover their consultative approach would result in a budget-friendly design that would satisfy what they really needed.

The customer didn’t know what they didn’t know—until they worked with GDT

The client needed a wireless solution for the warehouse they’d recently built, but the initial systems integrator they had worked with made unnecessary recommendations that would not only drive up costs, but ignore physical infrastructure requirements that would deliver what they truly needed—a solution.

GDT’s physical infrastructure solutions architects, widely known as the most tenured, trained and talented in the IT industry, not only asked the right questions, but, more importantly, listened to the answers. It quickly became apparent that the customer needed far more than wireless access points. They needed a design that would stand up to the dust and dirt inherent in warehouses, including the extreme temperature swings due to the unpredictable Texas weather.

A comprehensive solution carefully designed and delivered on time

In addition to installing all wireless access points, GDT designed a solution that included an enclosure cabinet mounted to the ceiling’s I-Beams, which kept their network server free from dust, debris and moisture. In addition, they installed copper and fiber cabling that connected all access points to the wiring closet, which ultimately terminates at the IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame) in the main office. They also installed a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to provide emergency power in the event of an outage.

Successful results reflect the power of combining technical acumen with the ability to listen

GDT’s Physical Infrastructure team consists of professionals who did for this customer what they’ve done for thousands others over the past 24 years. They delivered a customized solution that perfectly fit the needs, and budget, of the client.

Their vast arsenal of solutions and services extends well beyond what this customer is now enjoying. In addition to server enclosures, wireless access points, uninterrupted power and cabling (both copper and fiber), they also provide hot & cold aisle containment for data centers, access control design and implementation, card readers, keypads, mag locks, IP-based cameras, control panels, motion and infrared intrusion detection, door contacts, and much more. In short, they are a one-stop shop for physical IT infrastructures, whether for data centers, remote offices, headquarters, or warehouses, even those facing the most challenging climates and conditions.

Here’s how to handle your IT department’s largest expenditure

One of the world’s largest oil companies turned to GDT’s Advisory & Consulting professionals for a roadmap to help with future software purchases

By Richard Arneson

In several recent surveys, it was discovered that software is an IT organization’s largest expenditure—second place isn’t even close. When you’re one of the largest oil companies in the world, that budget line item can stretch well into the eight figures. Without a comprehensive roadmap to analyze software purchases, the phrase “throwing good money after bad” is often used. That’s exactly why this client turned to GDT’s Advisory & Consultancy practice. They needed a roadmap to ensure future software purchases would perfectly meet their specific needs, accommodate corporate governance, and keep network security top-of-mind.

The starting point

GDT’s Advisory & Consulting team knows that prior to developing a software procurement roadmap, a starting point must first be determined. Through extensive interviews with key stakeholders, GDT’s experts garnered vital information regarding the client’s current processes, including internal controls, policies and governance, system development lifecycles, existing documentation, software deployment processes and governmental compliance.

GDT consultants then developed a questionnaire to uncover more granular, tactical data, such as the client’s software selection process, the business units requesting it, and their current software deployment methods and procedures.

The roadmap the customer now follows

In four short weeks, GDT consultants delivered a comprehensive software procurement and rationalization roadmap, which included all processes and methodologies they utilized to craft it.

With a discerning eye on corporate governance and enhanced productivity in mind, GDT’s roadmap included:

  • How to identify potential risks—and how to mitigate them—while ensuring business units’ issues and concerns will be addressed. For instance, if a 3rd party will be utilized, how will they mitigate risk while adhering to the client’s policies and processes, governance between business units, and government-related mandates and associated reporting requirements.
  • How to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis.
  • How to prioritize elements within the software procurement and deployment processes.
  • How to identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and incorporate them into the deployment process and create related technical documentation.

The customer has already utilized GDT’s software procurement and rationalization roadmap, and they soon discovered that the recommendations, checklists and processes within it meant software expenditures were satisfying the goals they were intended to deliver.

GDT Advisory & Consulting practice

GDT is widely known for employing the best, brightest and most tenured professionals the IT industry has to offer. GDT’s Advisory & Consulting team is no exception. Based on their empirical experience working with some of the most notable organizations in the world, companies large and small turn to them for everything from strategic planning and operations reviews, to IT process assessments and disaster recovery and business  continuity planning.

Covering unused assets? Don’t be embarrassed, many in IT do it, too

By Mike Zito, GDT Strategic Services Director

Even after meeting with hundreds of customers over the years, it still amazes me how many are spending money to pay for service contracts on assets that have been decommissioned for years.  It probably shouldn’t be that surprising when you consider the number of devices and licenses that comprise even the smallest of networks.  IT departments are tasked with managing assets that connect, protect and store data for organizations that may span the globe. And because hardware purchases and refresh projects are staggered throughout the year, the process of tracking network additions and decommissions can be burdensome.

As GDT’s Strategic Services Director, this is my department’s singular focus. We’ve been told by most of our key, premier partners that we are one of the few IT and systems integrators that concentrate on what has plagued, and often been ignored by, IT teams for years.

It’s not an easy task

Keeping an inventory of network assets, including their service contract expiration dates, end-of-support dates, physical location et al., isn’t easy.  To assist our customer IT teams with this traditionally massive challenge, GDT has built a team of 11 individuals who are dedicated to managing the entire lifecycle of our customer’s IT assets.   

Here’s how we do it…and at no cost to our customers, no less

  • We implement a vendor agnostic Virtual Network Discovery Platform (GDT Edge) that validates the entire active install base. To verify its accuracy, we compare those findings against OEM’s ship history reports and any inventory data the customer can provide. We then create an agreed-upon install base that can be proactively managed on an ongoing basis.
  • We identify areas that will result in OPEX reductions and mitigate risk. We analyze and make recommendations on sparing strategies.  We also identify devices in the network that can be supported via an SLA without an RMA component, which typically reduces coverage costs by more than 10%.  More importantly, we identify core and critical equipment that needs to be covered under premium service agreements to ensure a prompt replacement product and reduced time to resolution.
  • Our team meets with customers monthly to identify any assets that already are,or will be implemented on the network. We then add coverage to those assets at the time of implementation, rather than directly after they ship. We want to ensure the customer isn’t paying for coverage on assets that aren’t currently being used, but will be in the future.
  • Our team requests credits for pro-rated coverage on devices that are being decommissioned from the network. We meet quarterly with our customers to identify products/licenses that are coming off of the network and will request a credit for any unused maintenance contracts on those items.
  • Through our intuitive, simple-to-use Asset Management portal, customers can access an array of information, including data we’ve cleaned and consolidated related to, for instance, ship-to locations, contract numbers and related data.

It’s very common for companies to save well into six figures once they offload their IT asset management to GDT.  For many customers, the reduced OPEX and administration costs GDT delivers is critical to budget control and overall IT strategic planning.

If you have any questions about how to manage your network assets, regardless of which OEMs you’re currently utilizing, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at michael.zito@gdt.com

HPE integrates its latest acquisition to address AI, ML and analytics

By Richard Arneson

On Tuesday, May 7th, GDT premier partner Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a new offering that’s the result of its November 2018 purchase of BlueData, a Santa Clara, CA.-based company that provides a container-based software platform to accelerate the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and big data analytics.

“With AI adoption growing exponentially, the adoption of HPE BlueData will grow with it,” said Greg Clark, GDT’s Director of Technical Sales. “It’s rare when conversations with customers don’t evolve into discussions about AI and Machine Learning. With this latest announcement, HPE BlueData will certainly enter into those conversations.”

Clark and his team work closely with GDT’s sales force to craft robust, business-driving solutions through data analytics and AI. And, that’s exactly what HPE’s one-two punch that combines the BlueData platform with HPE’s Apollo systems and Pointnext services delivers.

With the BlueData platform, GDT’s solutions architects and engineers will be able to more easily provide customers with an as-a-service experience to address AI, ML and analytics running in the public cloud and on multi-vendor infrastructures. And, by leveraging container portability across on-prem or cloud services, whether with a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud model, GDT customers will enjoy faster deployments, reducing them from months to minutes.

Continued Clark, “The container-based BlueData platform provides customers with simple, automated one-click deployments with enterprise-level scalability, security and performance. So, developers can focus more of their time on what they’ve been hired to do—innovate.”

Questions about how GDT and premier partner HPE can do for your Digital Transformation journey? Talk to the experts at GDT, who have partnered with HPE for years.

If you’d like to learn about how GDT’s design engineers and solutions architects turn traditional, legacy infrastructures into innovative, agile machines that make customers more competitive, help them bring applications to market faster, and deliver a superior customer experience, contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or at Engineering@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

Read more about digital transformation, new technologies, market trends, blockchain, and more, here:

This number 7 had nothing to do with luck

You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em

Whatever happened to Google Fiber?

Monetize space? Sure, if you’ve got a launch pad and a few thousand satellites in your garage

FTC cracks down on robocalls, but is apparently poor at collection calls

How Machine Learning is making you smarter on game day

Nvidia drops big chunk of change to round out its data center strategy

Intelligence limited only by your architectural imagination

Data growth— how to store all those 1’s and 0’s

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

Workshops uncover insights into the state of IT and Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing

A simple solution to a complex problem

By Richard Arneson

GDT’s Staffing Solutions team accomplishes in a week what usually takes others months

Technological advancement is fantastic, until it’s time to find the right people who can turn those advancement into the benefits they’ve been touted to deliver. No company understood this better than a global manufacturing corporation with offices in four (4) continents. Their existing cloud migration was being managed and monitored by IT professionals who didn’t have the experience or skill sets needed to deliver the benefits C-level executives were counting on—reduced costs, enhanced collaboration, better DR (disaster recovery) options, and more agile operations.

“Now what do we do?”

Once a cloud migration has been completed, this is an all-too-common question many IT professionals ask themselves. According to a survey conducted by a noted IT research firm, ninety-six percent (96%) of respondents stated that their organization currently uses the cloud. Now, line that figure next to this one (1): ninety percent (90%) of respondents felt that their organization experienced a definite skills gap related to cloud technology. In other words, most use the cloud, but almost all of them don’t have the people to migrate to it, then manage, monitor and optimize it. The customer was no different; it included itself within that 90th percentile.

Personnel gaps? Meet GDT Staffing Solutions

One of the most challenging aspects of moving to the cloud lies in its initial migration, but that should comprise only a fraction of a cloud strategy. Cloud services must continually be managed, monitored and optimized, and DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) and BaaS (Backup as a Service) need to be taken into consideration. In addition, if automation is not considered, then utilized where and when it’s needed, a cloud migration can prevent IT staff from proactively focusing on the future and remain stuck in the past. The customer fully understood all of this, and knew which network and systems integrator to rely on so they could fully realize their cloud dreams—GDT.

Interviews + listening skills = the right professional, and fast

Before a single call was made, GDT’s staffing professionals asked key questions that, based on the customer’s answers, helped them find more than a professional with extensive cloud experience. It enabled them to uncover the right professional, one that not only understood how to manage, monitor and optimize the customers’ cloud deployment, but also satisfied the needed soft skills, such as adaptability, communications, organizational and time management.

What would have likely taken months for the customer’s HR and recruiting team took GDT’s staffing solutions professionals a week. That’s five (5) business days to find a professional certified in the exact public cloud provider, had experience working in the right industry and for an organization with similar IT demands and applications, would perfectly mesh with their department’s array of personalities, and could hit the ground running and make an immediate impact.  

As a result of GDT placing the ideal cloud professional in the customer’s IT organization, they are currently working with GDT to help quickly augment their engineering staff so a key initiative can be completed within a tight timeframe.

GDT Staffing Solutions—matching the right skills and experience to help customers enjoy their technology investments

GDT’s team of staffing professionals call on twenty-five (25) years of experience delivering IT professionals who help clients achieve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and enjoy an enhanced ability to drive key initiatives. They not only utilize a database of IT professionals unparalleled in the industry, but their extensive network is segmented to quickly match specific client needs with IT professionals who can help optimize and enhance solutions.

Is there value or risks in using an offshore security testing service to conduct penetration testing?

By Dr. Stephen Inocencio, PhD, DSI
GDT Vice President, Security Advisory Services

In IT, penetration testing is when a 3rd party is conscripted to simulate a cyberattack against your organization. It determines where you are from a security standpoint, and where you need to be. Where are your vulnerabilities and how will they be addressed? It’s looking at your attack surface and ensuring that existing vulnerabilities are being comprehensively addressed.

You may think that it doesn’t matter who starts an “automated scan” and spits out a report, but while suppressing the rage induced by someone calling a full penetration test a scan, I can say that there are definitely some things to think about prior to outsourcing your penetration testing requirements to an offshore company, or one (1) that uses offshore resources/contractors.

What’s the Big Deal About Using an Offshore Penetration Company?

I’m sure there are some great penetration testing companies that use offshore resources, and I know there are great penetration testing companies headquartered outside the United States. The following isn’t intended to be derogatory in any way. The things that apply when deciding about hiring a penetration testing company applies here, too, regardless of where they’re headquartered. The main difference is that some of these problems may be exacerbated due to issues like, for instance, language barriers or an inability to verify background checks, certifications, etc.

The reason all this may seem so complicated and nerve-racking is due to the fact that, in the grand scheme of things, the industry is still pretty young. There are no official distinctions or certifications needed to become a penetration testing company or offer consulting or penetration testing services. So, an offshore penetration testing company may be more difficult to vet and is often based on exactly how much information they are willing to provide.

Here are some things you should consider when determining who to use for your organization’s penetration testing:

Communication issues

I’m not talking about just a language barrier, although that can make a lot of things more difficult. Reporting may be in a different format, or, due to cultural differences, it may be explained differently than what you are expecting. Or, the reports provided may not be presented to you by the people who actually did the testing due to time zone differences. Also,  time zone differences can extend the length of the testing and delay documentation required to complete a project due to troubleshooting issues or transferring scoping information. These communications issues may not concern you as much and may even merit the lower price point, but should definitely be considered.

Difficulty vetting resources

Things like background checks, criminal records, and certification validation are all more difficult with offshore resources. You should always consider who, exactly, is doing your penetration testing. For example, what is the experience level of the test team, what certifications do they hold, and what is their level of education? Unfortunately, penetration test results are only as good as the tester who worked on the project. And while GDT always provides biographies for the engineers working on our assessment projects, many companies don’t. While there are plenty of offshore resources that are terrific penetration testers, it may be difficult to know if you’re getting an expert or a novice.

The quality of the test you’re getting

In addition to the difficulties regarding who is conducting the test, it’s also difficult to discern whether whomever did your penetration test actually did a good job. Most people engaging a third-party company to perform penetration testing are not experts themselves (although some are and just need third-party validation), so, if you receive a clean report, is that a good or bad thing? Are you really secure, or were vulnerabilities missed? So, while you may have opted for a less expensive option, there may be a ton of issues missed; it can be very hard to tell.

Giving network access to an offshore company

This is usually enough to keep most CISOs and engineers up at night. Companies do their best to protect their external and internal networks and end points, so handing out internal information and not knowing exactly who will get it, and if it will be retained or shared, is a chilling thought.

So, considering the aforementioned issues you need to consider, what should you do? Is it OK to use an offshore penetration testing company, or not? It’s important to note that GDT, due to our high standards for quality and core values that include quick and effective communications with our clients, does not utilize offshore resources for our penetration testing. But, that doesn’t mean companies that do are bad or ineffective (and, yes, they’re often cheaper). It just means that you’ve got to put a lot more time and conduct more due diligence prior to hiring them. You have to ensure you’re going to receive a thorough test, utilize a capable engineering team, and receive a high-quality product.

If you have questions about security penetration testing, contact these pro’s

To find out how to shore up your organization’s security posture, contact GDT’s tenured and talented engineers and security analysts at SOC@GDT.com. From their Security and Network Operations Centers, they manage, monitor and protect the networks of organizations of all sizes, including those for some of the most notable enterprises, service providers, healthcare organizations and government agencies in the world. They’d love to hear from you.

If you want more information about network security, read about it here:

If “123456” looks way, way too familiar, you may be heading for trouble

Oh, no, not the CAPTCHA screen

If you’re storing data down under, you’re likely re-thinking that decision, says Microsoft president

What’s left when a supply-chain reliant corporation gets hacked? Paperwork

Introducing your cyber threat starting lineup

Death and Taxes—and you can add this to the mix

If you doubled down on Russia, your bet’s safe

What happens in an ATM, doesn’t always stay in an ATM

Google launches itself into cybersecurity space

Getting Stuffed at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Security Myths Debunked

State of the Union address focuses on technology–briefly

The technology arms race was just amped up

Apparently, cyber attackers also consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery

Last week’s DHS “alert” upgraded to “an emergency directive”

The Collection #1 data breach—sit down first; the numbers are pretty scary

Shutdown affects more than workers

DDoS Attacks will deny a Massachusetts Man Ten (10) years of Freedom

Phishing for Apples

This isn’t fake news

Don’t get blinded by binge-watching

Mo Money, Mo Technology―Taylor Swift uses facial recognition at concerts

Step aside all ye crimes—there’s a new king in town

Q & A for a Q & A website: Quora, what happened?

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

And in this corner…

Elections are in, but there’s one (1) tally that remains to be counted

Hiring A Hacker Probably Shouldn’t Be Part of Your Business Plan

Gen V

Sexy, yes, but potentially dangerous

Tetration—you should know its meaning

It’s in their DNA

When SOC plays second fiddle to NOC, you could be in for an expensive tune

How to protect against Ransomware

BCaaS—at least that’s what it should be called

By Richard Arneson

Earlier this week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that they’re joining cloud competitors Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud to offer Blockchain-as-as-Service. The service is so new that this new offering can’t even use BaaS to define it. That’s already been claimed by Backend-as-a-Service, which is a cloud-based offering that allows developers to focus on mobile and web applications’ frontend and offload the less sexy backend stuff.

AWS announced late last year that they would offer Blockchain as a Service in the future, and now it’s officially available. They’re calling it Amazon Quantum Ledge Database (QLDB), and its launch is noteworthy because in early 2018 they had essentially dismissed blockchain as a technology. Or, at least one (1) from which they felt they could earn enough revenue to justify it as a service.

A little market research goes a long way

At that time, AWS felt companies had, in the words of CEO Andy Jassy, “a weird convoluting and conflating [sense] of what they really wanted [from blockchain].” But, after a little market research in the form of discussions with customers, they developed a better understanding about the types of problems customers were attempting to solve.

According to Rahul Pathak, General Manager of AWS Managed Blockchain, “Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks so they can conduct business quickly, with an immutable record of transactions, but without the need for a centralized authority.”

With AWS QLDB, customers will be able to do it. And, AWS promises that it will be highly scalable to accommodate thousands of applications and enable customers to run millions of transactions.

GDT, a Dallas-based AWS partner, is excited about the AWS QLDB launch. “Interest in blockchain grows each day,” said Mohammed Ibrahim, GDT’s Director of Hybrid Cloud. “With QLDB, we’ll be better equipped to take the mystery and complexity out of blockchain for our customers and help them utilize it to address a variety of issues.”

If you’re looking for cloud expertise, you’ve come to the right place

Migrating to the cloud is a big move; it might be the biggest move of your IT career. If you don’t have the right cloud skill sets, expertise and experience on staff, you may soon be wondering if the cloud is all it’s cracked up to be.

That’s why turning to experienced Cloud experts like those at GDT can help make your cloud dreams a reality. They hold the highest cloud certifications in the industry and are experienced delivering and optimizing solutions from GDT’s key cloud partners―AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud. They can be reached at CloudTeam@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to learn more about the cloud, including migrating to it, things to consider prior to a migration, or a host of other cloud-related topics, you can find them here:

Survey reveals organizations see the need to utilize more than one (1) public cloud service provider

Government Cloud adoption is growing, but at the rate of other industries?

The 6 (correctly spelled) R’s of a cloud migration

Are you Cloud Ready?

Calculating the costs–soft and hard–of a cloud migration

Migrating to the Cloud? Consider the following

And learn how GDT’s Cloud Team helped these organizations get the very most out of their cloud deployments:

Assessment turns cloud hopes into reality

The best-laid plans, implemented

A utility company reaps the benefits of the cloud…finally

A company’s cloud goals were trumped by a poor architecture

Government Agency turns to GDT to migrate mission critical apps to the cloud

The new king…if somebody would just proclaim it already

By Richard Arneson

In 1996, then Microsoft CEO Bill Gates famously stated that “Content is King.” It addressed how he felt the Internet would really be monetized. While he didn’t actually coin the phrase, when you’re worth billions and create Microsoft, stuff gets linked to your name, like it or not.

“Content is King” is actually a well-veiled contradiction to a 1964 quote by author Marshall McLuhan, who famously stated, in reference to the media, that “the message is the medium.” Basically, it meant that the vehicle, or channel, disseminating information is more important than what was being disseminated.

Let the coronation begin

It’s hard to believe that nobody—at least nobody famous and quote-worthy—has made the same proclamation about the cloud. According to a year-old survey by RightScale, ninety-six percent (96%) of respondents stated that their organization currently uses the cloud. And that’s a year old. Where is it now, ninety-eight (98), ninety-nine percent (99%)? Sounds pretty kingly.

For VMware, a twenty-one-year-old, Palo Alto, CA-based cloud computing and platform virtualization software and services company, it may not have stated that “Cloud is King”, but it’s certainly living it. They know that the cloud enables organizations to move faster toward their business goals with its scalability, cost savings, and ability to greatly enhance productivity and security. Also, it’s helping companies better address and enjoy what IoT and AI has to offer.

Partnerships are also king

Purchased by EMC in 2004, which was then acquired by Dell eleven (11) years later, VMware announced yesterday at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas that they have extended their lengthy list of partnerships to include Microsoft Azure Cloud.

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “At Microsoft, we’re focused on empowering customers in their digital transformation journey through partnerships that enable them to take advantage of the Microsoft cloud, using the technologies they already have.

“Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions to open up new opportunities and meet their evolving needs.”

The announcement comes six (6) months after VMware announced a similar partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). VMware Cloud on AWS introduced VMware’s enterprise-class SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center) to the marketplace, which allows customers to seamlessly migrate to the cloud, scale as needed, and enable them to utilize next-gen applications.

Like VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Solutions is built on VMware Cloud Foundation, a comprehensive offering of software-defined storage, compute, networking and management. Customers will get to enjoy VMware’s widely-used and trusted cloud infrastructure while utilizing Microsoft Azure. Azure VMware Solutions will allow customers to seamlessly migrate and run existing VMware workloads from their on-premises environments to Azure, but without the need to retool operations or re-architect applications.

According to Brad Davenport, GDT’s Vice President of Solutions and Service Delivery, “We’re thrilled with VMware’s latest partnership with Microsoft Azure. As longtime partners with both companies, as well as AWS and IBM Cloud, it more thoroughly equips our solutions architects and engineers to help customers run enterprise applications in hybrid cloud environments.”

Questions about how GDT and its partnerships with VMware, AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud can digitally transform your organization?

If you’d like to learn about how GDT’s design engineers and solutions architects turn traditional, legacy infrastructures into innovative, agile machines that make customers more competitive, help them bring applications to market faster, and deliver a superior customer experience, contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or at Engineering@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

Read more about digital transformation, new technologies, market trends, blockchain, and more, here:

This number 7 had nothing to do with luck

You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em

Whatever happened to Google Fiber?

Monetize space? Sure, if you’ve got a launch pad and a few thousand satellites in your garage

FTC cracks down on robocalls, but is apparently poor at collection calls

How Machine Learning is making you smarter on game day

Nvidia drops big chunk of change to round out its data center strategy

Intelligence limited only by your architectural imagination

Data growth— how to store all those 1’s and 0’s

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

Workshops uncover insights into the state of IT and Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing

This number 7 had nothing to do with luck

By Richard Arneson

Global research and advisory firm Gartner is probably best known for publishing their Magic Quadrants, which list technology leaders in several categories. It’s a big deal to be named to a Gartner Magic Quadrant, and rightly so. It carries a lot of weight in the IT industry, especially if your company is included in the upper right quadrant, which is simply labeled “Leaders.” And for the seventh (7th) year in a row, AppDynamics, a San Francisco-based application performance management and IT operations analytics company, proudly sits in the Leader quadrant for APM (Application Performance Monitoring).

Meeting the expectations of today’s digital-first world

Organizations are facing more pressure than ever before to address today’s digital-first environment. The speedy servers of yesterday are the IT speed bumps of today. And with slow comes the frustrated user who shuts down your site and heads into the arms of your competitors. Now, take it a step further and consider the full-scale outage. Those cost companies millions when you consider not just the loss in revenue, but the productivity and recovery costs. According to Gartner, the average—remember, this is average—cost of network downtime is around $5,600…per minute! For instance, consider what a network outage at Amazon would cost. And they’re certainly not average—that $5,600 figure doesn’t come close to what they’d lose in a minute.

Upping your business IQ

AppDynamics knew that educating organizations and enabling them to see how their overall digital experience impacts customers and their business goals, including, of course, revenue, was key. For that reason, they developed Business iQ, which allows AppDynamics customers the ability to understand and act on what’s affecting their business in real-time. With Business iQ, customers can monitor critical KPIs and receive alerts that help them identify, diagnose and resolve issues before their customers  head to the competition (Here’s a great video about it).

According to John Hill, the CIO of Carhartt, an AppDynamics customer, “It was imperative to understand how to position our business for the evolving consumer needs of today and in the future. With Business iQ, we now have a direct lens into the health of business transactions across our entire digital shopping journey in real time, so we can continue to deliver the highest quality user experience to our consumers.”

The Central Nervous System of IT

Based on the success of Business iQ, AppDynamics followed it up with they’re calling The Central Nervous System for IT. In short, AppDynamics, together with parent company Cisco, is giving IT departments more visibility, insight and automation options so they can better compete in the marketplace and thrive in today’s complex world of IT.

But, they didn’t stop there. AppDynamics built Cognition Engine to address those frustrating, mind-numbing hours IT personnel spend trying to identify the root cause(s) of performance issues. Cognition Engine utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate the process(es) and identify root-cause to detect anomalies. Those mind-numbing hours can now be slashed down to seconds.

According to Stephen White, the Director of Automation and DevOps at longtime AppDynamics partner GDT, “One of the keys to AppDynamics’ success is their work to bridge the gap between DevOps and networking teams. Doing so allows customers to leverage application intelligence to really drive infrastructure automation.”

Luck doesn’t get you on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant seven (7) years running. Ingenuity, innovation, integration…it’s those types of things. And those are a few of the many reasons AppDynamics is sitting once again in the upper right corner. And, it’s also why AppDynamics is now the largest and fastest growing company in the APM market.

Questions about what AppDynamics can do for your Digital Transformation journey? Talk to the experts at GDT, who have partnered with AppDynamics for years.

If you’d like to learn about how GDT’s design engineers and solutions architects turn traditional, legacy infrastructures into innovative, agile machines that make customers more competitive, help them bring applications to market faster, and deliver a superior customer experience, contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or at Engineering@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

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By Richard Arneson

           Au revoir, China!

Even the New England Patriots have to send out the punting unit from time to time. If Belichick is facing 4th and 25 and the ball is on the Pats’ 10-yard line, they’re punting (unless, of course, desperation necessitates it). But desperation and Amazon don’t really go together. The clock isn’t ticking down on them any time soon. They’re not trailing in the game. So, it may come as a shock to learn that they’re punting on most of their business operations in China. It’s especially surprising considering Amazon is known for fighting through short-term losses to enjoy long-term gains. But, when you’re facing juggernauts Alibaba and JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce behemoth, in their own backyard, apparently Amazon has decided it’s 4th and long. “Let’s punt.”

It will all happen on July 18th, after which consumers logging into Amazon.cn will only be offered products from its global store. It will mark the end of a fifteen (15) year venture in China, which began in 2004 after Amazon bought an online bookstore there for $75 million.

Over the years, Amazon has invested in data centers and warehouses in China, and even programs designed to educate Chinese sellers on how to get their goods into the hands of Amazon customers. And, two (2) years ago they launched Amazon Prime in China to try and lure Chinese consumers into buying more Western products. They offered free shipping, to boot. But, Alibaba launched multiple counter attacks, including offering deeply discounted products manufactured outside China. You could buy American-grown produce, clothing manufactured in England, beauty care products from Australia, et al. It worked. Amazon was never able to garner more than a one percent (1%) market share there.

They’re not entirely washing their hands of China

Amazon hasn’t totally turned its back on the Chinese marketplace, however. Instead, they’ll now focus their efforts there on offering consumer products manufactured outside China’s borders. For instance, they’ll continue selling AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Kindle e-books. And, they’ll maintain their cross-border operations, which help ship Chinese goods to buyers abroad.

Next up for Amazon?

Amazon launched their website in India in 2013, and since then they’ve pumped billions of dollars into that market over the past six (6) years. They’ve purchased over fifty (50) warehouses in India, and, now that China has moved off Amazon’s radar—at least partly—they’re ready to shift focus and funds toward a market in which they believe they’ll have a better chance of competing.

Guess who else is ramping up their investments in India? Yep, Alibaba and JD.com. It’s 1st and ten—let the game begin.

Questions about Digital Transformation, new products on the horizon, or, better still, how your company can get the most from technology? Talk to the experts

If you’d like to learn about how GDT’s design engineers and solutions architects turn traditional, legacy infrastructures into innovative, agile machines that make customers more competitive, help them bring applications to market faster, and deliver a superior customer experience, contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or at Engineering@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

Read more about digital transformation, new technologies, market trends, blockchain, and more, here:

Whatever happened to Google Fiber?

Monetize space? Sure, if you’ve got a launch pad and a few thousand satellites in your garage

FTC cracks down on robocalls, but is apparently poor at collection calls

How Machine Learning is making you smarter on game day

Nvidia drops big chunk of change to round out its data center strategy

Intelligence limited only by your architectural imagination

Data growth— how to store all those 1’s and 0’s

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

Workshops uncover insights into the state of IT and Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing